With so many bike racks to choose from at sites like Auto Parts Warehouse and CarParts.com, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Below is a guide to help you in making your decision.
The Number of Bikes You Want to Transport
This is the first decision you have to make, and it will be important to the selection of the bike rack you purchase. Bike racks are generally designed to carry from one single bike to five bikes at a time.
Determine Your Bike Rack Design
You have to take into consideration the vehicle you are using to carry the bikes and from there you can choose the desired style of bike rack. Below is a list of some of the bike rack designs available.
If your vehicle has a receiver hitch, then you can use this style. There are two sizes for the receiver hitch, 1.25" and 2". Simply measure the inside dimension of the square opening on your hitch to determine what size you have.
These types of racks offer an easy to load feature and do not cause any wind drag on your vehicle. If you have a vehicle with a rear door, the downfall to these type racks is that you will not have access to it as the rack will be in the way. There are some racks that have added features to allow you swing them out of the way to be able to get access to the rear door, so if this is important to you, be sure you find the rack with this advanced feature.
Roof Top Bike Racks
If you have roof top luggage racks with cross bars, you can add this style bike rack to your vehicle. Keep in mind that you will have to lift the bike up to the rack, which may be difficult for some people. You might also want to be aware that most roof top bike racks require the bikes front wheel to be removed for storage.
Truck Bed Bike Racks
If you drive a truck, you can find several truck bed bike racks. Most of these mounts will require you to remove the front wheel of the bike, but there are a few that allow you to leave the bike intact.
Trunk or Hatchback Bike Racks
If none of the other bike rack styles will work for you, then a trunk or hatchback rack might be your best choice. These racks attach to your vehicle with straps connected to the trunk or the rear door. There are protection pads included to prevent any damage to your vehicle. These offer an easy to load option and can be removed when not in use.
Hitch Ball Mounts
If you have a towing kit on your car and the receiver hitch has a ball mount on it, there is no need to remove it to have a bike rack in use. These bike racks are designed to fit on your ball mount and can be easily removed when not in use. You can find ones with the added feature to allow you to swing or tilt the bike mount out of the way to gain access to the rear door.